To complete a divorce, a significant amount of information must be exchanged between you and your spouse.
- What assets do we own?
- What debts do we owe?
- What parenting-time schedule would you prefer?
Discovery is the legal process of exchanging information. To do so, spouses typically answer two types of requests for information. The first is interrogatories, which asks spouses for written answers to questions. The second is requests for production of documents, which asks spouses to provide specific documents, such as bank statements, loan records, or tax returns.
If you are tasked with completing these discovery requests, your attorney will likely ask you to provide him or her with these requested documents and a first draft of answers. Here are four tips to help:
- Be Thorough in Your Discovery Responses
Interrogatory questions often contain many sub-questions. Similarly, requests for production of documents often require that you collect a large stack of documents. It is important that you answer each and every question and sub-question thoroughly, and that you provide every document requested. Failing to do so will result in incomplete discovery answers, which may cause delays in your case.
- Be Timely in Providing Information to Your Attorney
The sooner that you can provide your discovery responses to your attorney, the sooner that your attorney can help you to determine what information must be included in your responses and what information may be withheld.
- Alert Your Attorney Immediately If Your Information Has Changed
You are required to update your discovery responses if your original answers have changed. To do so, your attorney will need to file new documents with the court and notify your spouse’s attorney. Thus, it is important to immediately alert your attorney of any changes needed to your original discovery answers.
- Be Honest
Perhaps the most detrimental action you can take against your case during discovery is lying in your discovery responses. If you are concerned about your answers, speak with your attorney who can help provide guidance to these concerns.
Discovery is an invaluable information gathering process, which ensures that the evidence needed to properly settle your case or to prepare for trial is in the hands of your attorney. Your legal team at Koenig|Dunne is here to advise you regarding the process of discovery.